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What are some “cheat codes” or work hacks you’ve found useful in consulting?

likesmarthelpful
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Data source matrix - things you need or questions to be answered on vertical axis, document sources and people to be interviewed on horizontal. Helps plan the engagement (do we have all the needs/questions?) and minimize churn (get everything in one interview or document run through). It pisses people off to have consultants do many short interviews of the same person - gives the impression that the consultants are making it up as we go along - something to be avoided even if we’re making it up as we go along.

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1. Client Relationships: I often use ‘my firm wouldn’t like this but you should do xyz’ and that I’ve noticed is a great way to built 1:1 trust.
2. Underpromise: I often down play the strength of client relationships I have and make my senior partners think that I’m pulling out tricks from my hat whereas I’ve usually prepped my client friends to react a certain way. Double game is important here.
3. Be the challenger always: Don’t just agree in meetings with the norms. I question some aspects of our plan and try to add my own spin to it. Keeps me relevant.
4. Don’t be too transparent about how you spend your time everyday. Create a wall and let them guessing. This also allows you to have more personal freedom and do what you need to.
5. Work the up and down cycles. Meaning every other month make a splash. Take on something important and deliver it. Then go silent for a few weeks. This is anyways more effective for my W/L balance.
6. Never make your clients think you make more money and live better than them. Downplay where you live, what you drive and the vacations. Especially if you have non-NYC clients.

likehelpfulfunny
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Pretend to be busy. Be on multiple initiatives doing absolute minimum but enough to make it look like you are involved in 10 different things

likefunnysmartuplifting

Are you my senior director? I know you!

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Work hard at the start so that ppl have a high perception of you, then chill out without causing any hiccups. Fastest way to get WLB and high raises imo.

likefunnysmarthelpful

Agreed! Manage those up and down cycles. Know when you need to deliver and when it’s someone else’s turn to shine.

1. Give 80% of your max effort all the time so you always have more to give if needed.
2. get really good at delegating.
3. Find people to be on your team whos strengths are your weaknesses.

likehelpful

Delegation is key and this can start even at Senior Consultant. Grab a couple of young folks under you, make them feel very special in a genuine way, invest in them upfront and the dividends of them taking on work for you is huge. Always give credit l!

likesmart

1) block off personal time during the day
2) create a personalized job aide to improve your productivity and make you seem like you’re on top of everything. (E.g. a standard list of generic but customizable questions to ask during meetings). You can tweak over time based on the feedback you get from check ins

likehelpfulsmartfunny

I would love the list too....!!!

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Don't ever, for any reason, do anything to anyone for any reason ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you've been... ever, for any reason whatsoever.

likefunnysmart

This is such a "whatever" sub thread.

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Do in 2 hrs what it takes most people 8 to do, then pretend it took 10.

likefunny

I prefer to do in 8 hours what most people do in 2 and blame it on those people, claiming that only thanks to you did it take less than 10

likefunny

R1, R2, L1, R2, up, down, left, right, up, down, left, right.
That should work.

likefunnyuplifting

I use that to skip waterfall level on Lion King for Sega

likefunny

When bored in meetings, write long winded and deeply thoughtful memos and save them in a draft file. Then in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom, shoot one off. People will think you are thinking about their problems at all hours of the night.

likefunny

What’s a memo?

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Rigorously lay out what you need to do, before jumping in to do it

likehelpful

Me. Blocks for my team.

likefunny

Take conf calls in the bathroom.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

The risk reward ratio is questionable

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Reply to people’s queries quickly if your Skype/teams is set to “busy”. They think you’ve really gone above and beyond to help!

I follow the “if you can do it in 2 minutes, do it now” rule, so quick emails usually don’t interrupt my workflow

likefunny

Just a thing I’d also want to add, don't do it all the time as that'll make you look as if you're just “always available” and the work you do isn't important

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Don’t expect much from people, prepare for the worst

likehelpfulfunny

Yep. Be as self-reliant as possible without giving the impression that you’re the only one who knows things

likefunny

Block off 1+ hour each day in different time periods so you will look busy, but you can actually have some personal time (especially from home) and use that to do whatever your heart desires. As D1 said, if people then hit you up in this period and you can deliver it looks solid

likesmart

Don’t deliver in this time! Isnt that the opposite of personal time??

funny

Ctrl C
Ctrl V

likefunnysmart

Save useful templates/code/etc. in a folder where you can find them.

Somebody really likes a chart you made? Save that. Maybe spend a little time documenting how you made it or altering the template to make it more general.

Next time one of those things comes up, you don't have to dig around to find it or create it from scratch.

likehelpful

Play more RuneScape. It really increases your typing skills and lets you impress all the partners by taking better notes.

likefunny

cyan:wave2: Oh hello there

Create a meeting for yourself and share screen 2 on screen 2.

likefunny

MC1, I’ve definitely set up meetings with my seniors and staff during ones that I see are going to run over, and say “We have to jump to another call.”

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Do only those things that matters to business and leadership - add value to one and two levels up. Rest is all clutter.

likesmarthelpful

This is it right here. Genius always comes concise

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Store all good decks and slides in a personal folder. If you can remember which team the slides came from then you can keep using with other teams and impress them with your deck making skills

likesmart

With disinfectant.

likefunny

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likehelpful

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